Upon returning from India, I had a number of meetings with SCCM staff to help me get back ‘in the loop’ with our operational activities.  From these meetings, I was struck how our online capabilities continue to grow and develop. 

For the first time this year, the MCCKAP exam will be offered online, providing almost immediate feedback to participants on their level of critical care knowledge. In addition, since the exam is now paperless, mailing and administrative costs are reduced. Programs will still receive the same advanced statistical analysis of their fellows as a group, but this year that comprehensive feedback will be provided more quickly.  The 2010 exam will take place March 1-5 and sales have been comparable to prior years.  We are preparing to provide extra support this year to handle technical and other calls which may be caused by the transition to the online platform.

The HHS sponsored Critical Care Cross-Training for Hospital-Based non-ICU Health Care Professionals (CCXT) Course is being received very positively.  Since the initial posting of the course in December 2009, 793 healthcare professionals have registered for the course.  This number represents 582 individuals from the US States, District of Columbia and Territories and 207 international participants from 45 countries. The majority of participants are physicians and nurses who practice in academic medical centers or community hospitals.  Even as H1N1 and seasonal influenza incidence decline, interest in the course continues with approximately 50 participants registering so far this February.  Ongoing monitoring of the course reveals that a number of participants complete the course over an extended period of time.  Participants often complete the skill station modules (mechanical ventilation) early in their course progress and then return to complete the didactic modules.

Based on customer and committee feedback, we continue to make changes to the adult and pediatric resident education program (RICU).  While minor corrections and bug fixes have occurred since Congress, an improved test reporting system is planned for release this summer.  A conference call with the committee leadership, Council staff liaison, support staff and me is planned in March to further work on developing this important online learning tool.  Look for major improvements in the next iteration of the program planned for this summer.

The web-based, peer-review platform for Critical Care Medicine and Pediatric Critical Care Medicineis transitioning from ScholarOne to Editorial Manager.  The conversion began in January 2010 and full integration is expected by July 2010. Currently, all new journal submissions are being entered into Editorial Manager while revisions of 2009 submissions are being maintained through completion in ScholarOne. Use of Editorial Manager will facilitate post-acceptance production processes, reducing costs and labor needs and will allow for eventual single sign-on through MySCCM

In addition to all of this recent activity, the new version of LearnICU (a more comprehensive and interactive learning website) is in development.  I had the plesaure of attending several design meetings and the plans look most impressive and comprehensive.  The Society’s Accreditation and Online Learning Committee is already gearing up to provide topic editors and staff are working on new online learning activities which will be incorporated into the new site.  Most notably all presentations from meetings will be made available here, as well as the ability to take a variety of online self-assessment exams.

These are just some of the highlights of SCCM’s growing online capabilities and I’m pleased to be a part of this exciting activity.